I finally got to spend some time with my daughters before going back down to Dad’s tomorrow. The sun shone and when I looked at my 12 and 16-year-old all I could see was perfection. How did I manage to create such beautiful, smart young women?
They don’t view it like that. One thinks she is fat and stupid, even though she goes to one of the most selective grammar schools in the country and the other believes she is ugly and that having the same shaped nose as me is seriously going to hinder her attempts to land a boyfriend.
I was pretty rubbish at getting boyfriends when I was 16 (I had none!), but it was nothing to do with the shape of my nose and all to do with the state of my mind.
I tried telling them how marvellous they are, but they wouldn’t listen. Then it struck me. They see their mother being hard on herself, despising the shape of her nose, her small eyes and cellulite ridden thighs. I have taught them to see imperfection, when really there is none. I could beat myself up over this, but I’ve done enough of that over these past weeks, so I chose to stroke my cashmere* clad arm and say ‘I am doing a great job.’
Over lunch, the 16-year-old said ‘Marion has made you crazy.’ Not this again! Marion is my spiritual mentor and it’s true, I have been a little unstable since I started seeing her last September. Ghastly feelings have bubbled up to the surface like gas floating up from the bottom of a swamp, but Marion didn’t put them there. They were laid down long ago and were buried so deeply, I wasn’t aware of them. In fact, I was going round congratulating myself on being the most content I’ve ever been.
We had to hand one of our bi-monthly reviews in today and poor Marion had to wade through the sewer of my mind. I spewed it all out on paper and sent it off before I censored myself, which I am wont to do. There is no point editing out the less salient bits; she needs to know what a crazy bitch I am.
I ranted about how she didn’t ask us to check-in during our mentoring day, which meant I held on tightly to the black fog that was swirling around my body. I splurged paragraphs about my fucked up relationship with money and explained how I want to break my addiction to stressful work. I felt a lot better for it at the end, but am not sure it had quite the same effect on Marion.
She sent back one of her lovely, thoughtful replies, assuring me that I can always ask for help (*shudder* I cannot think of anything worse) and explaining that the terror which gripped me during our conscious resting session was my infinite intelligence feeling I was safe and strong enough to handle it.
Another thing she said struck me. ‘You looked as if you were able to meet these emotions without my assistance.’ Of course I did. I would NEVER in a million years allow myself to appear in need of help. WTF?? The idea makes me feel really uncomfortable. And shameful. And angry for some reason. Clearly, I need help. This is something I intend to work on in the coming weeks.
*It struck me today that I wear a lot of cashmere because I believe it encourages people to stroke me. It does seem to work and isn’t as costly as you might imagine – my favourite cashmere cardie cost me £10 at a flea market.